Updated: Aug 20, 2018
Okay. This is my first blog post, ever! It’s been a long time in the making, and mostly a dream, so it seems only natural to talk about where the idea of Mums on the Run USA came from.....
To be honest, I liked the idea of creating a return to running group for moms post-partum for a long time, but working full time and running a lot kept it a long term goal. Now I am a new mom on (extended) maternity leave, which somehow seems to give what I have to say a little more merit.
I am a physical therapist, and also a runner. The passion for running didn’t really start until I was actually in PT school, then it was the only way I could stay sane. I had already run the Seattle Marathon before moving to Boston to pursue a doctorate in physical therapy, but it was a bucket list item, and once the race was done I had no desire to do it again. Then, I watched the Boston Marathon for the first time. That lit a spark in my soul somehow and I’ve never looked back. I was FAR from qualifying time (4:33 for my first marathon and needed to knock more than an hour off my time), but I made it my long term goal to chase down that BQ. It took 5 marathons, but I finally got my BQ at the Cape Cod Marathon, by less than 30seconds...but when I applied to run Boston that year, it still wasn’t fast enough. I knew this was a possibility, but still, I was devastated.
I run with the most amazing group of women called the Liberty Athletic Club. Every year they get a couple bibs for the Boston Marathon, and the year I didn’t make the cut for Boston, they gave me a bib. I trained hard through the snowiest winter ever in Boston (2014), utilized a coach, and raced my heart out on a cold rainy day in April. That year I PR’d and qualified with a time that I knew would get me spot the next year (3:28) . I couldn’t believe that I knocked over an hour off my initial marathon time. It was a dream realized.
Anyway, needless to say I had a lot of mileage under my belt and A LOT of time to think about life and my career while I ran. By the time I finally ran the Boston Marathon I was no longer a student and had been working at a sports medicine clinic for almost 2 years. I initially wanted to work with dancers, but as my passion for running grew, I preferred the endurance sports like running and triathlon. Marathon Physical Therapy (which is where I work) is big into sports medicine, but it’s also well known for its women’s health program. After being a PT for a couple years, I realized, it’s really hard to separate disciplines and “only be” sports med or women’s health. You can’t only treat the “outside” of the pelvis, that’s the cheaters way out.
My interest in womens health started shortly after working at Marathon PT, when I realized how many women needed help but weren’t getting it. There was a long list of people waiting for treatment, but those were just the ones who knew treatment was an option, and they were the minority for sure.
It seemed crazy that something so important (pelvic health) hardly gets any press or awareness. I like the idea of being able to help everybody, so naturally I was interested. However, being a good women's health therapist is a lot of hard work and requires extra training. My schedule was busy, and in my spare time I was running (and playing), then pregnant. It took me a while to realize that not only could I help this population, but I was already seeing them...for other injuries.